Why I don’t use barbells anymore and what equipment I now love best
If you look at the archived workouts on our At the Gym page, you will see several workouts using barbells, especially the “Core” series. If you notice the dates I posted them, the majority are back in 2010. The main reason my earlier workouts utilized barbells was because Kemme Fitness was closer to Crossfit in design. In fact, I essentially took Crossfit workouts, tweeked them a bit, and added additional circuits to make sure the workouts were 35 to 45 minutes long.
As time wore on, and as the group of folks I was sharing with grew, we no longer could get access to the barbells. There were too many of us, and the traditional weight lifters needed the barbells for their programs. Since I always preach to have a friendly attitude in a gym and to do your best to work around others, I opted to move away from the barbell area. Consequently, I was forced to get more creative with my workout designs. I relied more heavily on medicine balls, bodyweight exercises, physioballs, kettlebells, dumbbells, and pull-up bars.
In addition to what was going on at the gym at my work, I was also developing workouts to be used at home. Enter equipment such as slosh tubes, clubbells, and macebells. Giddyup!
Here are the main reasons I no longer rely on barbells: First off, barbells and the plates that go with them are expensive. A large percentage of Kemme Fitness users exercise at home and do not want to invest tons of money into exercise equipment – which I am all for. Secondly, Olympic lifts (which I love) can be dangerous for folks who are not supervised by an experienced trainer. I don’t mind training others with barbells, but to throw these workouts up on the website for beginners/novices to try out alone can be a recipe for injury. Not to mention, I am convinced you can achieve an incredibly awesome level of Functional Fitness without ever needing heavy weights such as barbells.
What equipment do I love now?: After a great deal of experimentation I have settled on kettlebells, physioballs, medicine balls, pull-ups bars, slosh tubes, and clubbells. I really don’t you the heavy bar, sand bags, or macebells much anymore. Although if I had more sand bags, I might start using them more for my bootcamps.
Slosh tubes and physioballs are basically my main core-centered equipment. You do anything on a physioball or with a slosh tube in your hands and you will be activating your core. Clubbells are also great for your core and upper chest/back area. Once you get used to swinging them around, they are actually very easy to do, and will give you great results. These are also great for folks who want to have a very strong upper body. Although I use slosh tubes and clubbells, medicine balls and bodyweight exercises tend to be my staples simply because of logistics. I’m actually feeling sad with the cold weather coming in, since I won’t have anyplace to really use my slosh tubes until spring
If I had a gun to my head and had to choose only 2 pieces of equipment, I would most likely choose a physioball and a clubbell, since slosh tubes are too big to use everywhere.
How about you? Have you tried out a clubbell or slosh tube? If so, what would be your favorite pieces of equipment?